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Following a discussion in the courtroom that lasted for several hours, it has been decided to postpone the trial of 11 former members of special police forces and Republika Srpska Army charged with genocide committed in the village of Kravica near Srebrenica in July 1995.
The trial will resume on 26 September. The poor health of indictee Slobodan Jakovljevic, who is currently incapable of following the trial, has been cited as the reason for the postponement.
Court-appointed psychiatrist Dr Marija Kaucic-Komsic, who carried out a medical examination of the indictee in question, has concluded that Jakovljevic has “psychological disturbances”, that can be manifested through physical pain
“Jakovljevic has told me that he … has a severe headache. I do not think he is simulating the pain,” Dr Kaucic-Komsic explained, adding that while she expects the headache to “cease” in the course of the day, the indictee is currently incapable of following the trial.
The defence teams of the three indictees who started a hunger strike on 10 September have also submitted a request for postponement of the trial due to the allegedly poor health of their clients. The Trial Chamber has not approved their request. The defence attorneys have stressed that indictees Petar Mitrovic, Miladin Stevanovic and Branislav Medan have not been feeling well in the past ten days because they have not eaten.
“This is their deliberate decision and they should suffer the consequences. We cannot postpone the trial for that reason,” Trial Chamber Chairman Hilmo Vucinic has said.
During the discussion, Prosecutor Ibro Bulic has suggested that the defence attorneys of the indictees who are on hunger strike be released of their duty. He has explained such proposal by saying that “the Prosecution has an impression that the current Defence appears to be inefficient for the three indictees”.
This proposal has greeted with a loud reaction from the attorneys present in the courtroom. The Trial Chamber has rejected the proposal.